The Sacramento River Cats were able to throw an Opening Day celebration of sorts in lieu of their regularly scheduled plans on April 14, treating families to some of the perks they’d normally experience at a River Cats game from the convenience of their own car.
Since the Minor League Baseball season has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, families who drove through the parking lot at Sutter Heath Park took part in discounted hot dogs, ice cream and soda as well as a beer special in the afternoon, and fans were able to tune in to hear the National Anthem live streamed on the River Cats’ Facebook page at 6:30 p.m. before a simulated game against the Tacoma Rainiers was featured online.
The River Cats also released their fourth in their top five all-time River Cats moments in history and named Danny Putnam’s game four three-run walk-off home run on Sept. 8, 2007 at Raley Field, which resulted in a 7-4 win over the Salt Lake Bees as the historic moment.
Their recap of the moment is as follows: “After two games of the 2007 PCL Semifinals, the River Cats were down to their last game. The Salt Lake Bees won games one and two at home by one run each. A two-run home run by outfielder Danny Putnam in game three helped keep Sacramento alive with a 7-4 victory. There was still work to be done, however, as the River Cats needed two more wins at home to move on.
Game four was just as close as the previous three. The River Cats overcame an early 3-0 deficit with another two-run home run by Putnam to take a 4-3 lead. Yet, heartbreak returned when Salt Lake center fielder Tommy Murphy singled home the tying run in the eighth.
Both Salt Lake’s pitcher Greg Jones and Sacramento’s Brad Ziegler traded zeros for two innings. In his third inning of work, however, Jones faced his first jam. Kevin Melillo worked a leadoff walk and he was bunted over by Gregorio Petit. In order to set up the force, JD Closser walked on four pitches.
This set up another chance for Putnam to play hero. Putnam took the first four pitches he saw, and on a 3-1 count, he launched a three-run home run to extend the series in walk-off fashion.
The River Cats would not only go on to win game five to advance, they would win their next five games to clinch the first Triple-A Championship in franchise history.”
The River Cats are expected to continue releasing their top five moments in club history throughout April.